“Just Scratching the Surface”: CNN’s Greg Agvent on Potential of “Drone Journalism”
At the recent UAS Midwest Conference in Dayton, OH, Tristan Navera of the Dayton Business Journal caught up with Greg Agvent, CNN’s Senior Director of News Operations about the potential uses of drones in newsgathering. In the interview, Agvent shared some of the ways of how CNN used drone footage to enhance its news coverage.
In related news, on Aug 18 CNN launched CNN Aerial Imagery and Reporting (CNN AIR). For the first time in the company’s history, CNN will have a designated Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) unit to fully integrate aerial imagery and reporting across all CNN networks and platforms.
CNN has been a leader in integrating this new technology into its operations, forming the first media-related research partnership with the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and entering into a direct research agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In 2015, CNN was selected by the FAA as one of the first three industry “Pathfinders” to develop safe uses of UAS in newsgathering. CNN has shared data and research that has helped formulate a framework for various types of UAS to be safely integrated into the national air space and continues to work to expand the safe and legal operation of UAS in newsgathering.
CNN’s deployment of UAS have demonstrated the breadth of the flooding in Louisiana and the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. They have also been utilized at the Republican and Democratic presidential nominating conventions, CNN presidential primary debates and town halls, and to enhance storytelling across CNN’s platforms, including the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, and Anderson Cooper’s coverage of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.